As Arab League Ministers call for President Bashar Assad to go, even offering safe passage for Assad and his family, Syrian rebels close in. The situation in Syria continues to worsen by the hour and life for ordinary citizens must be a daily struggle.
As rebels press ever closer to the current seat of power in Syria once again questions are raised about just who the rebels are?
In the West mainstream media tends to report on the Free Syrian Army (FSA), as the only rebels gaining ground. They are not alone though. There is also the Salafis, a rival group made up of hardline Islamists. They are looking for the creation of a Syrian Sharia Sate if and when Assad steps down or is ousted. These two groups of rebels are each made up of two factions, working against each other.
Those in Syria and in the West who want Assad ousted must surely be considering what his exit could mean. Currently the alternative to the Assad regime is conflict. Conflict to remove him and conflict between warring factions until the strongest force wins. The FSA claim that the opposing rebels have the benefit of foreign money which is swelling their arsenals. Do we believe that the FSA is not getting money and more from the West? No we do not.
Both rebel sides will have their foreign supporters. So will the Assad regime, although right now they also have the wealth of Syria.
As Assad continues to ignore calls for him to step down regime Forces have today, July 23, 2012, gone on the offensive once more. They have been driving FSA rebel forces out of Damascus.
Whilst the West purports to support the rebels at least verbally there are many causes for concern.
Israel has voiced its worries over the stash of chemical weapons it believes the Assad regime to hold. These include mustard gas and sarin nerve agents. Its fear is that if the Assad regime topples an "unknown quantity" will have access to or control of such weapons. If those who replace Assad are hardline Islamists will they want to attack Israel or is that just scaremongering?
The West will look to Russia who has exercised its veto all too often in UN votes regarding Syria, to provide Some form of control of armaments.
The Assad regime has also threatened that outside aggression against them may be met with chemical warfare. A frightening prospect. It could be bluff but who would want to take the risk? The regime continues to maintain that such weapons will not be used against its own people though.
European arms embargoes placed on the Assad regime have been tightened today. How much effect they will have is not known.
A heavy presence of US forces in the strait of Hormuz are aimed at sending a clear message to Iran. Many believe that Iranian leaders could see a political vacuum in Syria as a positive.
Countries such as Turkey, that border Syria, are waiting with bated breath. They are expecting refugees and more. They too have a reason to fear a hardline Islamist neighbour it seems.
All in all Syria is in a state of virtual collapse. Still Assad clings to power. It is doubtful that he will accept today's offer of a safe exit from the Arab League. Where he would go is unknown.
Time is running out for Assad but he may, like a ship's captain, choose to go down with his ship. If he does he will take many with him.